Today In Gay History – June 7th: Alan Turing, Anita Bryant, and the Accidential Sodomy Repeal.
1778 – Beau Brummell was born in London. His real name was George Bryan Brummell. This English dandy is responsible for the caricature of the gay males that persisted for generations. He lived in the poshest apartments, wore the most stylish clothes, and lived beyond his means to attain them.
His bons mots have survived him. Asked if he ever ate vegetables, he replied that he “once ate a pea.” He also claimed to have caught a cold from a “damp stranger” and is credited with introducing and establishing as fashion the modern man’s suit, worn with a tie. He said it took him five hours to dress and he recommended that boots be polished with champagne. and had the most bitchy sense of humor in England. Brummell died in an insane asylum hounded by his creditors.
1928 – Birth date of James Ivory, director. Ivory is best known for the results of his long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, which included both Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Their films won six Academy Awards.
1954 – Alan Turing, father of computer science and mathematical genius, died of cyanide poisoning. He had been responsible for cracking a code used by Germany during World War II, which gave the Allies an advantage. After being tried for homosexual acts, he was forced to undergo medical treatments including estrogen injections.
1970 – Author E.M. Forster died after a series of strokes. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Forster’s humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: “Only connect … “. His 1908 novel, A Room with a View, is his most optimistic work, while A Passage to India (1924) brought him his greatest success.
1975 – New Hampshire state legislators accidentally repealed their state’s sodomy laws due to ambiguous wording in a rape penalties bill. They didn’t know they had done it until gay publications pointed it out, but allowed the repeal to stand.
1977 – A referendum, in Dade, County Florida, forced by pressure from fundamentalist Christian Anita Bryant, husband Bob Green and their “Save Our Children” organization, repealed the county ordinance prohibiting discrimination on basis of sexual orientation. It was the first major battle — and defeat — in the struggle for gay civil rights in United States. It was also the first successful use of “child molestation tactic” by anti- gay forces and set the pattern of attack for remainder of Seventies and into Eighties.
After failing at almost everything she has tried since the late 1970′sAnita Bryant resurfaced in 2010 at the anti-gay, “Reclaiming America for Christ” rally in Oklahoma City alongside state Rep. Sally Kern (R) and the ever-lying David Barton of Wallbuilders
Bryant will forever be etched in history as one of the most homophobic assholes ever.
1978 – California’s Proposition Six, also known as the Briggs initiative, qualified for the November ballot. The bill sought to ban gay teachers and forbid discussion of homosexuality that was neutral or positive.
1989 – Health officials in Alabama announced that its state Medicaid program would begin paying for the drug AZT. Alabama was the only state at that time that refused to cover AZT.
1989 – Ethel May Punchon, who publicly came out as a lesbian at age 105, died of natural causes in Melbourne, Australia at age 106.
1990 – A demonstration was held in Hyde Park (London) against police entrapment. 1997 – President Clinton made an address to the nation calling for action against hate crimes, including anti-gay violence.
1998 – Pope John Paul II gave a speech attacking the recognition of same-sex relationships.
1998 – Reggie White, defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, vowed to continue to fight against homosexual rights. The homophobe also claimed that God told him not to retire from the Green Bay Packers.
2003 – Reverend V. Gene Robinson was elected bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal diocese of New Hampshire, becoming the first openly gay bishop in the church’s history. 2003 – Just weeks after the Philadelphia council of the Boy Scouts of America passed a resolution to add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy (in order to receive funds from United Way), it expelled an 18-year-old scout for being openly gay.
2006 – Macy’s department store in Boston removed a window display marking the city’s Gay Pride week after MassResistance, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, complained it was offensive. The display at the downtown Boston store featured two male mannequins, with one wearing a Gay Pride rainbow flag around his waist, next to a list of several planned Boston Pride Week events. MassResistance said the mannequin wearing the flag had a “skirt” on.
2007 – Isaiah Washington lost his acting job on the hit ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” five months after creating a furor with his use of an anti-gay slur toward another actor.